Category Archives: business development
Monkey bread. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
If you’ve ever fallen victim to the lure of monkey bread, you know how dangerous it is. Not only is the flavor delicious (think sugar, cinnamon, and/or honey), but it’s made of small, snarfable pieces of individual fabulousness, expressly designed … Continue reading
How trimming belly fat can promote business growth
Of course there’s no physical connection between a smaller stomach and a heftier bottom line. There is, however, a powerful mental connection you can take advantage of whenever you choose. And that connection is simply using your success in one … Continue reading
The popcorn model of business development
For many people, popcorn counts as an essential food group. For smart entrepreneurs, the process of popping corn offers several lessons for successful business development. Turn the heat up. Back in the good ol’ days, you’d put oil in the … Continue reading
To succeed, you’ve gotta keep movin’ on.
Last week I shared a few basic principles used by all successful improvisational comics. And there’s more where that came from. Here are three more comedy rules you can apply in the serious world of business. Make “actional” choices. In … Continue reading
Business success IS a laughing matter.
If you’re serious about your business, you can learn a lot from improvisational comedy. Several years ago I took improv classes at Stevie Ray’s School of Improv in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I went in to my first one feeling very confident. … Continue reading
They’re just not that into you…
What matters is what your client or prospect SAYS matters. How well do you listen to them? Continue reading
What are you doing to take care of your most important client?
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “my number-one client”? a specific name? how much revenue they bring in? the number of referrals they send your way? the amount of resources you’re willing to devote to them? … Continue reading
7 easy-to-overlook factors that will trash your close ratio
I recently shared a true-confessions type of story in which I shared my incredible efficiency at packing multiple mistakes into a single prospect call. While no doubt you got a good sense from those posts of what NOT to do … Continue reading
And don’t do THESE 3 things to prospects, either. Just. Don’t.
Last week I addressed five things you should never do to a prospect. Here’s a quick recap of how I packed a single prospect call with a bunch of lessons on what not to do. took a call from … Continue reading
Think an entrepreneur can’t learn from a master harpist? Think again.
You’ve heard it time and again: Successful people have a whole spectrum of skills in common. One of those skills is an ability and willingness to learn from anyone who has good ideas – not just experts in their … Continue reading
Three strategies for starting a business that’s guaranteed to fail
In the United States, Thanksgiving is a time for acknowledging and celebrating all the good that’s come our way in the last year. Many of us can find a lot to be grateful for, even if we still have … Continue reading
The seduction of possibilities
So when was the last time you were seduced? No, no, no – not by that stunning neighbor, but by those intriguing business possibilities that you come across? Let’s face it: There’s no shortage of business-building options out there. … Continue reading
You can’t make me!
You’ve heard children say to their siblings – and sometimes even their parents – “You can’t make me!” Childish and defiant, right? And yet haven’t you, a mature and self-assured entrepreneur, implicitly said the same thing when someone tried … Continue reading
Are distractions strangling your business?
I’m one of perhaps seven people in the United States who actually likes the ground cover known as Creeping Charlie. The rest of the country views it as a noxious invader that will strangle the grass they’re so proud … Continue reading
Do you have the guts to ask for what you want?
One of my Mastermind partners, Pat Schuler of Kick Butt Sales Training, sometimes asks her clients, “Do you really want to rely on hope as a business development strategy?” Ouch. She’s got a point. Too many entrepreneurs simply cross … Continue reading
Who’s on your island?
You may be familiar with Survivor, a long-running television show. (Since I’ve been television-free for over 10 years, I had to Google it, but that’s beside the point.) Since the idea is for “castaways” to outwit, outlast and outplay … Continue reading
Nurture what’s working, weed out what’s not.
Most of us in the northern hemisphere are finally celebrating the arrival of spring. Plants are popping up, trees are budding, grass is greening – and we don’t have to do a thing to make it happen! But that’s … Continue reading
You deserve the best. Are you getting it?
I doubt there’s an entrepreneur alive who hasn’t gone through the stage where she defines “my ideal client” as “anyone who’s able to pay me.” And who could blame her? Money is helpful in so many ways: buying groceries, … Continue reading
How to use confusion as a business-building tool
You probably view confusion pretty negatively. After all, what’s to like about “lack of understanding; uncertainty; the state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something”? The good news about confusion is that it’s both manageable and … Continue reading
“So what?” as a growth strategy
At some point, every one of us has heard (or said) that challenging, often-snarky question: While many teenagers may view its primary goal as parental aggravation, savvy entrepreneurs know that this simple question represents a powerful strategy for … Continue reading
How to launch that major project in 10 minutes or less
We’ve all had that deer-in-the-headlights feeling when faced with a huge project. When there’s so damn much to get done to create the product or service, it’s easy to feel paralyzed with indecision: Where in the world do you start?? … Continue reading
5 fool-proof ways to sound like a snake-oil salesman
One of the quickest ways to sabotage your success is to come across as a snake-oil salesman. You know just what I’m talking about: the person who has an oily, slimy manner to go with their oily, slimy product. Some … Continue reading
Are you into weeds or flowers?
Business development is a lot like gardening: If you don’t take consistent, intentional steps to create the results you want, you’ll have to settle for what you get. Whether you’re growing a business or growing a garden, you have two … Continue reading
The X-Men Guide to business development
The X-Men: Days of Future Past tells the story of how Wolverine, one of the Good Guys, is sent back in time in an effort to prevent an event that would result in the destruction of both mutants and humans. … Continue reading
How to use your failures to make your prospects trust and adore you
We’ve all heard speakers talk about their successes: the multiple businesses they started and sold for millions of dollars; the everyday mansion and the one they use on vacation; the lovely, loving family. Good stuff. But the experts we can … Continue reading
How simple counting can alert you to a fatal marketing flaw
I can’t even remember the first time I heard about “the radio station that everyone is tuned into: WII-FM.” The reason we all tune in, as you probably know, is that the “call letters” stand for “What’s In It For … Continue reading
The minimalist guide to creating an action plan that works
Yeah, yeah, yeah—we’ve heard it ad nauseam: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. But here’s the question: What if you’re having trouble planning? What if the very process of creating an action plan feels so overwhelming that … Continue reading
Use this powerful tactic to bore, scare, and confuse your prospects.
While some entrepreneurs are naturally talented at scaring away tasty prospects, you may be one of those who needs some help at keeping the hordes away. Fortunately, there’s a single tactic you can use immediately to ensure that you’ve got … Continue reading
How to Write a Really Lousy Marketing Message in 10 Easy Steps
Based on a lot of marketing out there, it’s easy to see there’s fierce competition for the World’s Lamest Marketing Message Award. If you’re in the running for it, these ten tips will help you create such pathetically useless marketing … Continue reading
Focus on the right activities leads to business success.
Have trouble focusing? Here are some tools to improve this crucial skill. Continue reading
How to use “not now” to propel your business forward.
You can’t be productive if you don’t stay focused. Continue reading
The Few. The Proud. The Survivors.
Last Monday, I addressed how easy it is for your business to become a failure statistic. Let’s switch the focus today to how to become one of the minority of new businesses: the winners that get to celebrate their 10th … Continue reading
Are you on your way to becoming an SBA failure statistic?
According to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), about half of all small businesses will fail before their fifth anniversaries; nearly two-thirds will fail before their tenth. What’s with that? Why do so many talented, creative entrepreneurs … Continue reading
The minimalist guide to business development
You don’t have the luxury of bouncing from one business-building ploy to another. Here are some ways to keep you laser focused on activities that will actually pay off for you. Continue reading
7 clues that you’re busy instead of productive
Are you simply doing stuff, or are you making progress? See if any of these traps are keeping you busy and unproductive. Continue reading
Business growth doesn’t just happen – you must take action.
Are you a member of the Business AAA Club? Members are entrepreneurs who succeed because they Affirm And Act on ideas for business development success. Read on for ideas on how to get your membership. Continue reading
“What If…?”: A Powerful Tool for Thinking Big and Achieving Goals
If you’re serious about achieving goals and experiencing serious business growth, you get to let go of fearful “What if?” thinking and start developing action plans based on powerful, creative “What if?” thinking. Learn how! Continue reading
Are you working ON your business or just IN it? How to balance development and delivery.
When you work IN your business, you’re busy delivering the goods, working in the now to earn money. When you work ON your business, you focus on developing your business so that in the future you will be, do, and have more. Continue reading